12 May, 2021

Wag The Watchdog

Who watches the watchdog? Is the media criticising itself as relentlessly as it does others? Has it become part of the problem?

illustration by Saurabh Singh
Wag The Watchdog
Law minister Arun Jaitley was travelling with a TV star/journalist when he found to his amusement that the crowds he thought were waving at him were actually focused on the man standing next to him. A clue to the spirit of our times. The Power Media star. How did the Fourth Estate get into this position where it's become a hated (by all the other estates) necessity of democracy?

What are the main functions of the press? Gandhiji wrote, "One of the objects of a newspaper is to understand the popular feeling and give expression to it; another to arouse in people certain desirable sentiments; and the third is fearlessly to expose popular defects." The Indian press played a tremendous role in national awakening during the freedom struggle and was part of the nation-building process. Today, we have become obsessed watchdogs in "exposing defects" without a thought to nation-building. We now come to the crucial question: who watches the watchdog? Does the media criticise itself in as relentless a manner as it does everybody else? Is the media above being influenced by political...

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